- Developed dramatic monologue after his
poem Sordello (1840) was widely criticized. He wanted a
of allowing the reader to see behind the mask of the speaker in the
If the speaker is talking to someone else rather than us, then we can
some insight into the person's viewpoint.
A dramatic monologue is a conversation between two (or more) people,
but you only hear one side of it. It's like listening to a
friend on the telephone & trying to figure out the rest of the
Gives insight into personality of speaker because they aren’t tailoring
conversation to please you, the eavesdropper.
Developed this because he was criticized by
John Stuart Mill for being too impersonal in his writing.
Storm is brewing.
pathetic fallacy= events in nature parallel events in poem. We
nature feels our pain.
Porphyria comes in from the storm.
He realizes she loves, worships him. She is willing to leave her family
for him, which she apparently was not willing to do before.
Decides to kill her to preserve this perfect moment. Strangles
with her own hair, then tries to make her look as if there was no
This story is similar to the one in the movie River's Edge,
a highschool boy kills his girlfriend. Dennis Hopper later asked
the boy, "Did you love her?" "She was ok," he replied.
Romantic hero because his outlook is so different. This period
fascinated with the extremes of consciousness. Edgar Allen Poe
many stories about people with altered perceptions of reality.
"Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister"
"My Last Duchess (pg 1985)"
Dramatic monologue between emissary and Duke. They’re arranging second
between Duke and a girl. The emissary represents her father.
Indicates that he had first wife killed because he was jealous.
Hated her because she was too nice, because she'd smile at anybody.
Couldn’t stand her because she was too easily impressed. She liked
things. Esteemed them as high as his "900-yr old name".
Wants dowery to be paid for marrying second duchess. Considers women to
be objects - possessions.
"The Bishop Orders His Tomb" (1987)
This is at a church in Rome. The bishop is dying & is telling
what he wants on his tomb. He has a nice spot in the church
out for his vault & he wants it nicely decorated.
3 "Nephews - sons" They are really his sons, but he's been
them his nephews because as a bishop he's not supposed to have a wife.
Seeks immortality through his tomb.
35 He stole lapis lazuli (a precious blue stone) from one of
churches, then burned the church to cover up the crime. Tells
where to find it.
45 He fears they'll steal it themselves & sell it.
them that he's given them villas.
55ff His decorations will be a mix of pagan and Christian - Jesus
next to Pan ripping off a nymphs clothes.
99 "elucescebat" = he was illustrious. Not very good Latin.
Should have been "elucebat."
"Love among the Ruins" 2062
The narrator was entering an area where a great capitol had once stood;
now it was fields. One theme here is memento mori: we
will die, and even civilizations will die.
He was meeting a girl there. They were in love. Here
the idea is carpe
diem: seize the day. How can you love in the face of
death; the answer is that we must love because we always face death.
"Fra Lippo Lippi" 2070
Lippo Lippi is on his way home past curfew.
Some watchmen stop him. He gives this speech in an attempt to
talk his way out of being taken in.
He is a monk and also a great artist, but he finds the restrictions the
church places on monks to be too harsh.
He sneaks out at night to drink and have sex with women.